UK’s first ‘share shop’ opens for business
Frome is home to the SHARE shop, possibly the first shop in the UK where customers can be loaned an item they need rather than purchasing it, providing a unique service to its users. By signing up for a low subscription or loaning or donating an item themselves to join; members can then borrow an item instead of buying one when they need something. As well as this ‘Library of things’ the shop also offers skill-sharing through workshops, and recently held a sharing festival.
At SHARE, all items in stock are catalogued with the object’s history and a photo of the person who donated it.
The shop opened its doors in 2015 and was a partnership project between Frome Town Council, the Cheese and Grain, Sustainable Frome and Edventure Frome – school for community enterprise. The project was set up by people participating in Edventure as part of their training in community enterprise, with just a matter of weeks to realise the business model and open the shop. You can find more details about what SHARE has on offer here www.sharefrome.org. There’s a short film all about the project you can view here.